My BMW Performance Center Experience
I spend last weekend at BMW Performance Center at Spartanburg / Greenville SC.
Training was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, and since I have no time to ride there Friday and ride back to NY Monday, I flew there Friday evening and flew back to JFK at Sunday late hours.
All has been started last year's Xplor event there, which I missed due to my work. I was eagerly searching an opportunity, and one night at Ear, opportunity found me. An Advrider/lurker Jeff and couple of his friends were arranged a training party for 10th and 11th of May. So I would join them... I sent a PM to ADVRider MrDrifter (he is a trainer there) to get better information, I called the Center and I did.
Thanks Jeff !
$ 1.5 Billon worth of BMW factory at Spartanburg is really big one and they are spending $2 Billion more there.
See that GE snap shot below for the Performance Center.
This view is pretty old actually, enduro park and extension of the track is not there, but still OK for the orientation.
For On-road training we rode the track's East sections spared for motorcycles. Off road training area was on the North. There is also a runway for the small planes.
Main purpose of this "center" is to provide special delivery for especially performance cars, teach 55MPH oriented people who born in Ford Crown to handle cars like 440HP M3, or 500HP M6's.
I can easily say that there were at least 10s of each of M series, X series and Z series cars there. Everywhere was full of shiny, luxury sporty BMW's. Honestly I impressed.
Saturday morning after a short briefing and some theoretical lessons we walk out and pick the bikes waiting on the line.
I would ride a 1200GS and the orange one would be mine for the day.
All bikes was prepared for the road training with new Metz or Conti tires.
First of all we get informed with new systems of the 2008 bikes such as ASR, new ABS, new suspension systems etc. then we rode down the track.
We were rather crowded so start to work in two groups with three instructors.
It was a really good level training and I experienced pretty tough times around the cones all day. Main purpose of the training was concentrated on slow speed maneuvering, "what-if" scenarios, low and high speed emergency braking, modern cornering techniques like "Spiegel", and counter balancing.
Hey! where is my left foot?
Yeah you all smart mass' know, on the right peg.. We did a lot of this type exercises to feel ourselves more comfortable on the bike and gain more balance.
"Don't Forget to Breath" a very good advice...
After some serious swerving techniques (it's not MSF believe me!)we've done at 5 ish.
At the end of the day everyone around was looks like a plastic cone to me...::nahnah:
I slept like brick Saturday night.
The next day my bike would be a 650XChallenge, the same bike of mine, I bought last week and couldn't find time to ride. Although they would change all bikes' tires with knobbies for the off road training, I insisted to keep Sahara's (on/off road tires-same tires on my bike) to get used to behavior of the little beast.
Next morning weather was horrible... It was raining so hard, wipers were not sufficient to see in front of me when I'm driving from the hotel to Performance Center. But it get better in two hours and was very good for the rest of the day except couple of drizzles. Thanks to the M/C God for this arrangement w/ the Goddess of Meteorology.
All tires were changed with knobbies (except mine, b/c I asked so) and all bikes were tuned for off-road condition.
First hour was another briefing for off road, and we were on bikes. Putting our asses to saddles was prohibited that day...for the next 8 hours... And it will be tough.
Training started on a puddled muddy, stony ground almost as big as a football field. Cones were there, and all unimaginable maneuvering tricks were waiting for us. Jeez. When we get the first break my sweat was dripping on my pants. But everybody were grinning like idiots We were having a great time like kids.
Then we get an "Adventure Tour" in the small forest following a single track full of trees, wooden bridges made by greasy planks, water crossings, boulders and stones instead of plastic cones. It was fun and challenging.
Later we trained on a "railroad" for a washboard condition, a triple camel humps, and artificial ruts.
Above the picture see the guy stopping on a steep hill and saving his ass with a special technique of "clutch slipping". We all did that couple of times.
And there I'm on a controlled (very slow, even stopping in the middle with the front brake) down hill ride.
Matt, my instructor screaming "Slower, SLOOWEER !"
Later on we worked on a gravel pool, then emergency braking with many conditions and speeds and finally we killed ourselves in a sandpit way bigger then a basketball court! Despite the all hard work and picking up the bike couple of times we all really had a great time there.
I want to thank you the people who make this training possible, and our trainers Ray, Matt and Ross. They were patience, careful and really good. :
All and all it was a training for everyone who cares to be a lil'bit or much better rider. It all depends on you.
Highly recommended :wink:
Here is some information for interested riders of you. http://mysite.verizon.net/resat10022...20Training.doc
Right click the linky and "save as" the doc please...